Psychiatry is a specialty area of medicine that focuses on mental illness and psychological disorders of development. Psychiatrists have a medical degree and work as doctors in hospitals before applying to commence training in psychiatry.
Psychiatry training involves working in mental health services over 5 years, while simultaneously studying at a tertiary level (in NSW this is at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry). All psychiatrists do a form of advanced training or sub-specialisation, for example, general adult, old age, or child and adolescent psychiatry.
The result of this decade of training is that psychiatrists can assess patients from biological, social, and psychological perspectives. They are able to diagnose mental illness and provide management for patients which integrate the patient’s physical and mental health. Psychiatrists have training in a variety of psychotherapy (talking therapy) models and they also prescribe medication when required.